Nationals Baseball: Death, Taxes, and trading Livan

Friday, July 16, 2010

Death, Taxes, and trading Livan

We've gone over this several times in several places. The Nats can trade out their good players and try to build for a good young team close to Zimmerman's walk year, or they can patch together a team and try to get the best they can out of the next two years while not disrupting their slow recovery in the minors. Either path has its positives and negatives, but it boils down to the first plan being a bigger gamble for a potential bigger gain.

Either way though there is one constant between the two directions - Livan must go.

Other guys you can argue about. Dunn and Willingham are keys to the second plan, and not easy to replace. Pudge is saddled with a second year and frankly the Nats probably will need him next year - regardless if his bat implodes in the second half. Guzman's contract makes him difficult to trade. Capps is useful and cheap and young.

Livan though - Livan is old and had a unexpectedly good first half. Which means a crash is likely coming. He is also cheap though and dependable enough, which means he still has value. He's got some baggage with attitude issues, but he's got that veteran presence that team's love down the stretch. The Nats have to make room to try out some recovering pitchers in the 2nd half of this "lost" season. Trading Livan would easily open a spot. Would he bring anything more in than last time (Martis Mock and Chico)? Probably not. But were/are Martis Mock and Chico useful organizational pieces? Absolutely.

Why would you keep him? Sure, he could help a team looking to win in 2011 and 2012, but he could help them anyway by being resigned over the offseason. I guess you keep him so you could... I don't know... get him cheaper for next year? Make him feel good about the team so he's more likely to resign? We're not talking about the best pitcher ever here. They can find another bargain basement innings eater if need be.

I love Livan too. I'd be happy to see him back next year, but for the rest of this year he has to go. He's the only guy I'm certain that they should trade that I'm certain that they could trade. (well Capps too - but the argument for keeping him is a lot stronger)


Positively Half St. said...

They traded Livan for Mock and Chico, but your point is still a great one.

bdrube said...

I think it was Mock and Chico he was traded for, not Martis and Chico.

To-may-to, to-mah-to. :)

Harper said...

half st beat you bdrube!
that's right Martis would have been for Stanton.

I'd kill the Giants for trading all those young pitchers - but they seem to have plenty.

Hoo said...

Sean Burnett would be some solid trade bait except for one problem: He's a lefty that can't get out lefties.

Burnett strikes me a bit like Beimel but the whole leftie hitting 300+ isn't so tempting.

I'd say any reliever but Clips and Storen can go. And clips could go for a great price.

Harper said...

hoo - yeah almost anyone can go. Livan though is the one that I can't see a good reason why he should or would have to stay.

Bryan said...

"Death, Taxes, and trading Livan"

I know the answer, I know the answer: Things that are unavoidable!

Harper said...

Wrong - The correct answer is "What are the Top 3 fears of the Dippin' Dots vendor at Nationals Park?"

Brent said...

Reality check--do you really think there's a would-be contender out there that is so desparate for a replacement-level fifth starter that they'd be willing to give up a decent prospect for Hernandez? Oh, he's been very lucky in the first half, but no GM is going to ignore his 2008-9 stats. When he brought us Chico and Mock in 1986 he projected as at least an average pitcher. Now he's regarded as exactly what the Nats paid for--a replacement level pitcher that they signed to a minor league contract as a possible fifth starter for a bad team. So the question really should be, do we trade him away for nothing (since nothing is all we'll get)?

Harper said...

Decent prospect - no

Reach prospect - sure

So like a failing 20 yr old in A ball that had potential. Or a failing 23 yr old in AA that had potential. Something like that would be the best case scenario. A player that was a decent prospect but now is a year or two away form being out of baseball.